6 Surprising North London Spots
Written by: Violet Myers
Don’t get us wrong, we love this city, we think it’s pretty ruddy fabulous to be honest, but the average London street can fall into the same dull pattern; newsagents, Chicken Cottage, newsagents, hairdresser, Chicken Cottage. Is it just us or is there a glitch in the Matrix? That’s why we’re so excited to see these surprising spots in North London, from the ‘eh?’ to the ‘what the?!”
Atsuko Kudo – Designer Latex Fetish Fashion
Holloway Road, N7 8JL
Up the street from pun-tastic Piebury Corner and sandwiched between tired looking estate agents lies North London’s kinkiest little secret. Selling high-end latex fashion, from mini dresses to eye patches, Atsuko Kudo caters to every fantasy, as long as it’s tight, shiny and you need a quart of talcum powder to get into it. Despite its modest surroundings the shop is constantly making headlines, boasting celebrity fans such as Daisy Lowe, Taylor Swift, Rita Ora and Kim Kardashian. Kim K’s famous behind was photographed recently testing the limits of a pair of Atsuko Kudo’s latex leggings.
The Loading Bar – Gaming Bar
Stoke Newington Road, N16 8BX
So you’re half way through an eight hour C.O.D marathon, when you realise all that shouting abuse at newbs has left you rather parched. You’re in no mood for Ribena and a beer just won’t cut it, if only you had access to a bespoke, themed cocktail menu. Enter The Loading Bar, a venue packed with games of every genre, including an impressive collection of board games. The menu includes cocktails paying homage to everyone’s favourite games from the Earthworm Gin, Kicked to the Kirby, Assassin’s Meade and Skyrum.
Basement Gallery – Underground Supper Club
South Access Road, Walthamstow
What’s the nicest thing you’ve eaten on the tube? A sneaky mid-morning pack of Hula Hoops? A sad BLT you bought in a hurry at the station? How about a barley, lentil & mushroom ragout with griddled lamb neck and toasted brioche? Really blows those Hula Hoops out of the water, right? The Basement presents Underground Dining, a chance to enjoy a three course meal in a tarted up tube carriage. Menus are inspired by French and Scandinavian cuisine and prices start at £45 per person, we wonder if we get a discount with a railcard?
Cyberdog – Futuristic Rave Fashion
Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8AH
Any Camden locals will be well aware of this flashy shop, which is peculiarly popular among tourists. The shop stocks all of your raving needs, from silver hot pants, light up shoes, little fish, big fish and a selection of cardboard boxes. But what really makes Cyberdog surprising is the shop itself, the two story building is decked out like the set of Fifth Element, has pulsating lights, pumping music and dancing shop assistants.
North by Northwest Pub – Alfred Hitchcock Themed Pub
New North Road, N1 7BJ
So he may not have been the fittest director to devote your walls to, but no one could deny old Hitch was an icon. Inside this humble pub lies a shrine most fitting to the master of suspense, with floors to ceilings decked out with portraits, stuffed birds, low flying aeroplanes and quotes by the late auteur. The pub is also equipped for table tennis, well if there’s one thing Hitch knew it was ping pong.
Jacksons Lane – Contemporary Circus Venue
Archway Road, N6 5AA
A North London theatre and performance venue offering some of the most weird and wonderful circus shows on offer. We’re talking freaky, bendy, flying around the room craziness, call your mother and tell her you won’t be home for tea, you’re running away with the circus.
All circus images: Paul Rider
Spirited away from the hubbub of the city, sitting on the bustling boundaries of Islington and Camden, a 65 metre wide gallery resides hidden behind the Attic Self Storage building in Kings Cross. Market Road Gallery is a newly opened space for everyone to contribute to. It is London’s first bookable open air public gallery. Everyone, from the neighbourhood cat to a fancy pants established artiste, can create artwork for the space.
Today Britain will relish (moan) in 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight, with the sun rising at 4:43am and setting at 9:31pm. It’s set to be a record breaking 33 degrees in London. I for one am going to need all the help I can get not to disappear like the wicked witch of the West into a sticky puddle on Stroud Green Road. Here’s our Solstice-worshipping, Pagan inspired tips for surviving the hottest and longest day of the year in London.
It’s time. Time to bask (complain) in the sun and ask why god why when will it end?? Yes, Summer is officially here for the week, the hottest week in the last 20 years. This Friday, Drum n Bounce are coming all the way down South to help us celebrate this fact, as healthily as possible. Right in the middle section of VeloPark (link) you can take part in uplifting and limbering flow yoga with Tammy’s Yoga before 45 minutes of energising drum n bounce aerobics. This is basically getting hot and fit and dancey to your favourite tracks before you head off in to the night (or bed) with a massive sweaty smile on your mug.
Next Friday night, ignore your mounting list of life admin and venture outwards into the ether for a misanthropic wine a plenty. It’s the Black Books pub quiz at The Duke of Wellington as part of their couch potato themed quiz series. Entry is a meagre £2 but you can win some cold hard real cash if you’re up on your Dylan Moran / Tamsin Greig / Bill Bailey shaped references.
Who are the Heather Brothers? It’s a question that’s been keeping me up at night. Ever since I was asked to review their latest musical, Holy Crap, I’ve been trapped in something of a Google wormhole. To begin at the beginning: the Heather Brothers are, depending on who you ask, a musical writing duo/trio/quartet. Born in London, they grew up in Zimbabwe, where they spent their teenage years performing in a fraternal rock band. Again, depending on who you ask, they were variously known as: The Chequers, The Three People or Quiet World.
“Arriving back in the UK, after a long time away, there seemed to have been a swing towards xenophobia and the dehumanizing and vilify of both migrants and refugees was happening at the highest levels. I wanted to create a short that would address this trend.” Director Daniel Mulloy
The gin enthusiasts down at Hendricks have decided to take these cucumber celebrations a slice further with their Cultivate the Unusual campaign. Encouraging gin fans to grow their own cucumbers over the last few months in preparation, Hendricks are asking us to bring said veggies to participating pubs and bars this Thursday 15th June. The Canonbury Tavern for example, will light up if you walk in with a cucumber and will proceed to exchange it for a free gin and tonic. Can you imagine?
Hang Up Gallery have some pretty hush hush news. And it goes a little something like this: Darryl ‘Run’ DMC McDaniels will be popping up in the Stoke Newington gallery this month to launch his new collection of works, The Art of DMC. This is the icon’s first London exhibition, showing new and unseen collection of ‘Darryl Makes Comics (DMC)’ Fine Art, a body of signed limited edition prints showcasing his underlying passion for comics.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the original Summer of Love ’67 where freedom of expression, art and love reigned supreme. #ShopStroudGreen are celebrating the fact with a Summer of Love Local weekend festival this June. Celebrate artistic expression and support local independent traders and makers with a weekend of live art, workshops and music (with a few special discounts, tasters and freebies for good measure).
Oh snap! Another general election looms. Whether you’re hopeful for a landslide win or a surprising wild card outcome, wipe the bitter disappointment from your tastebuds with some gins, ales, burgers and strong covfefe. Because let’s face, it will be neither of those results will it really? Find the perfect place for you to receive the bad news in good company.
Get a different perspective on the city you live in this June. Film London are holding a screening of archive footage of London’s outer boroughs through the decades, underscored by live music accompaniment. The best of London’s Screen Archives hugely successful project, London: A Bigger Picture will be shown, funded by Heritage Lottery three years ago.
We caught up with Snowy the Harringay Station cat to talk Twitter, working life and his unsavoury friendship with Gus the fox. Summer is coming and, in North London, that means it’s time to hit the train stations. So we took Snow the Haringey Station Cat and photographer Mike Barry tumbling across one of them: the undergrowth of Haringey Station. Then we sat down with Snowy for a raw conversation about how to move forward after things fall apart.
“You grow it, we mow it” might be their blasé catchphrase, but Rocket’s attitude to your haircut is far from casual. These guys are serious about hair and the person that grew it. Rocket Stoke Newington are holding a day of free beer and entertainment with your cut in aid of Men’s Mental Health Sunday this 12th June. Also known as “Chopping for Chazza”, there’ll be talks on mental health, stand up comedy and more from 12 - 5pm.
Unless you’re already working for charity or regularly ‘do your bit’, that £6 monthly donation to The Dogs Trust might not be doing enough to quash your conscience / save the world. Whether you’re doing it for experience, to reset your karmic balance or generally give back and help out, there’ll be a role out there for you. On the Volunteer Centre Camden’s website for example, there’s a handy search page that lets you filter through hundreds of opportunities by location, interest and activity.
Currently showing at Camden People’s Theatre, performance artist Tom Marshman’s play Kings Cross (Remix) is a glorious celebration of a bygone era. The show is a tightly crafted journey through the stories of some of the people who made up the 1980s Kings Cross LGBTQ scene. Bursting with warmth, charm and affection, the play is a must see for anyone interested in learning more about London’s alternative history.
The Londoner behind 'Strong and Stable My Arse'. It’s a simple message. A slogan that’s straight to the point. 'Strong and Stable My Arse’ is a statement everyone can understand with a wry grin as they spot it slathered onto billboards, phone boxes and brick walls around the UK. So who could possibly be behind such a simple, cheeky, dig in the ribs campaign? Someone who knows his audience, who knows the mindset of the British like the back of his left hand.